How to Find the Right Welding Certificate Program near Pecos New Mexico
Enrolling in the right welding vocational school near Pecos NM is an important first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the best one? Most prospective students start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial issues when evaluating welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to create a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Classes
There are several options to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most typical welding programs offered in the Pecos NM.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created largely to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to check for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welder school you choose should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are various institutions that offer welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Pecos NM employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder performs. Some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier stated, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welder tech school you select readies you for certification if needed.
Topics to Ask Welder Trade Programs
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welding vocational and trade schools in the Pecos NM area. That’s why it’s essential to decide up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously covered 2 significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you pick is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you might need to evaluate before choosing a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder trade school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, the accreditation may also assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available in Pecos NM for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder diploma or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Pecos NM welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an instructional program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welding program you choose has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate may mean that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Pecos NM employer relationships to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welder programs to two or three possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with on the job. If you are unsure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Pecos NM welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the significance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to cover. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welding program you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Pecos NM home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in larger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are considering. Inquire if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can observe just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their feedback. Also, chat with some of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Pecos NM, make sure that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Online Welding Training
Welding is very much a hands-on type of trade, and therefore not very compatible with online training. Even so, there are a few online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater Pecos NM area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that would like to advance their knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and confirm that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Pecos NM?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Pecos New Mexico area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
The Pecos River originates in eastern New Mexico and flows into Texas, emptying into the Rio Grande. Its headwaters are on the eastern slope of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range in Mora County north of Pecos, NM, at an elevation of over 12,000 feet (3,700 m) feet. The river flows for 926 miles (1,490 km) before reaching the Rio Grande near Del Rio. Its drainage basin encompasses about 44,300 square miles (115,000 km2).
The river played a large role in the exploration of Texas by the Spanish. In the latter half of the 19th century, "West of the Pecos" was a reference to the rugged desolation of the Wild West. The Texas storekeeper, bartender, and justice of the peace, Roy Bean, a native of Kentucky, was often described as "The Only Law West of the Pecos", a phrase made popular from the 1956 syndicated television series, Judge Roy Bean, with Edgar Buchanan in the starring role. In the series narration, "West of the Pecos" is described as:
New Mexico and Texas disputed water rights to the river until the U.S. government settled the dispute in 1949 with the Pecos River Compact. The Pecos River Settlement Agreement was signed between New Mexico and Texas in 2003.
Choose the Best Welding Technical Program Pecos NM
Choosing the ideal welding training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Private Welding Schools. However, as we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welder school that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers unique options for certification also. Probably the best means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Pecos NM.